Meanwhile, fellow senior All-American J.J. Redick overcame a mid-game shooting slump to tally a game high 27 to effectively and decisively put an end to the Blue Devils' three game losing streak to Maryland.
The streak began in the 2004 ACC Tournament Championship game with Maryland rallying to beat Duke in overtime. It continued last season as the Terps swept the Blue Devils in the regular season.
This time was going to be different as head coach Mike Krzyzewski prepped his team by having his entire roster sign the mid-court logo on Tuesday in a show of pride over defending their home court. The message was received loud and clear as Duke raced to a 9-2 lead and was never really challenged throughout the length of the contest.
After rolling to a 45-22 halftime advantage, Duke seemed to lack the same killer instinct for much of the second half. Thankfully the Terrapins countered that lack of intensity with what appeared to be apathy, losing their composure and failing to take advantage of several opportunities to make a game of it.
Maryland did manage to cut the lead to 16 with just under eight minutes remaining, but failed to get back in transition, allowing Redick to spot up from the perimeter and push the lead to 19 at 62-43. It was the start of an 11-2 run that was highlighted by Redick's first career dunk, an effort that may not end up on SportsCenter, but did send the Cameron Crazies into yet another frenzy.
Despite all the jubilation over a well earned victory, there is cause for concern as sophomore swingman DeMarcus Nelson appeared to re-aggravate his right ankle, leaving the game midway through the first half and failing to return.